Precautions and Warnings With Zileuton
Precautions and warnings with zileuton include being aware of signs of liver problems, checking liver enzymes regularly during treatment, and avoiding certain drug interactions. Zileuton is not a fast-acting asthma medication and should not be used to treat an asthma attack. Precautions and warnings with zileuton also extend to those with high liver enzymes or who are allergic to any components used to make the medicine.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking zileuton (Zyflo®) if you have:
- Liver disease, such as liver failure or cirrhosis
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some precautions and warnings to be aware of prior to taking zileuton include the following:
- Zileuton can cause liver damage, which can result in liver failure or death. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you have signs of liver problems, such as:
- Upper-right abdominal pain
- Flu symptoms (such as fever or chills)
- Loss of appetite
- Yellow eyes or skin
- Dark urine.
Zileuton is not recommended for people who already have liver disease or for people who regularly drink large amounts of alcohol (which can also damage the liver).
- Your healthcare provider should check your liver enzymes (using a simple blood test) before you start zileuton, and then on a regular basis while you are taking the drug, in order to detect any liver damage.
- Zileuton is not a fast-acting asthma medication and cannot replace fast-acting rescue inhalers. Do not use zileuton to treat an asthma attack. Everyone taking the medication for asthma should also have a rescue asthma medication available at all times. Let your healthcare provider know if you need to use your rescue inhaler more frequently than usual, as this may be a sign of worsening asthma.
- Zileuton can interact with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Zileuton).
- Zileuton is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use in pregnancy, although the full risks are not known. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking the drug while pregnant (see Zyflo and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if zileuton passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking the drug (see Zyflo and Breastfeeding).